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Cream Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits

Cream Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits
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Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Buttermilk BiscuitsThese are really nice biscuits, and that’s a fact, Jack.

I used mascarpone, an Italian cream cheese. It’s lightly sweet and has a bit more depth of flavor than traditional cream cheese. Most regular markets carry it these days. But if it sounds too fancypants to you, I totally get that. Just use Philly. You really can’t go wrong with Philly Cream Cheese.

I wouldn’t use that light style “cream cheese.” It has a different name, and some sort of punctuation that makes me nervous. What the heck is that stuff?

I’m all about the real thing. Not the low-fat “variety.” I’d rather have less, but have the real deal. Anyway, to stay not-fat, I think you need some-fat. It’s so deliciously satisfying.

Is that too pushy? Forget I said anything. Use the light style, if that’s what you like. We’ll still be tight.

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits

Whichever road you take, these should be soft and flaky. And buttery. And crispity crunchity on the edges.

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits

I really really hope you can have butter. I buy so much butter that my shipmate checker-outer at Trader Joe’s almost always makes some sort of “I guess you really like butter” comment.

I can’t say I blame him.

When I’m down to 3 pounds of butter, I think I’m running out. So I run out. And buy some more.

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits

There’s the mascarpone. It’s very creamy (even though I’m not a big fan of that word, but it’s right here). And soft. It’s okay. Flour your clean fingers, and toss it to cover with dry ingredients, and break it up a bit.

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits

Make a well, then pour in the milk. It’s not a ton of milk.

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits

So it’s not a super-wet dough.

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits

But the butter and cream cheese have plenty of moisture. Roll it out into a rectangle of sorts, and then fold it over in thirds.

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits

Turn it 1/4 of the way around, so the side that was closest to you is now either on the left or the right. Then roll it out again into a rectangle. It’s kind of puff-pastry-like. It’s a “turn.” It really really works, though, to make your pastry all nice and flaky.

Take a chance! Be willing to get it wrong. And then the next time, you’ll get closer to right. I promise.

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits

Brush the tops with some more milk.

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits

Sprinkle with coarse salt. I used fleur de sel, since it’s so nice. But it’s so expensive that I only use a few grains on each biscuit. I’m miserly with my fleur de sel. If I found one of my kids dipping into that stuff, I think I’d put them in the stockade. You know, to send a message to the other 2.

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits

See? Nice and fluffy, soft, salty and a little bit tangy.

Here are all the detailed details…

Cream Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits
Recipe Type: Brunch
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 6 to 8
Gluten-free cream cheese buttermilk biscuits
  • 2 1/2 cups (350g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (84g) unsalted butter, diced and chilled
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (or mascarpone cheese), chilled
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, chilled, plus more for brushing tops
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, separate the pieces and toss in the dry ingredients. With clean and dry, well-floured fingers, flatten the flour-covered pieces of butter. Add the cream cheese, break it into pieces, and toss it in the dry ingredients.
  3. Create a well in the center of the bowl, and add the chilled buttermilk (see photo). Stir gently to combine until the dough begins to come together (see photo). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, and pat it into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Dust the dough lightly with flour, and fold it in thirds by the short sides, like a business letter. Turn the dough one quarter of the way around in one direction, cover with another sheet of parchment paper, and roll out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Flour a round biscuit cutter, and cut out rounds of dough. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Gather and reroll the scraps, sprinkle lightly with flour if the dough is sticky, and cut more rounds of dough. Place the rounds on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the biscuits with a bit of milk or buttermilk, and sprinkle with coarse salt.
  5. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes, or until firm.
  6. Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown, rotating once during baking.


P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of both of My Cookbooks! I can’t keep the blog going without your support!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Tuneses Tanya Logan on Facebook

    Omg nom nom

  • Jingles Khan on Facebook


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jenny-Davies-Stazenski/1582283814 Jenny Davies Stazenski on Facebook

    Oh looks wonderful!

  • Kadren

    So, these look absolutely delicious! So bummed my kids can’t have cream cheese. Besides the point though. I have a question for you. I was reading a GF recipe for chocolate cake that was dairy free and other things free. You know what she used in place of a sour cream? An avocado. You heard me. She blended it up with the can of coconut milk. What do you think? It was supposed to keep it moist. :) Thanks bunches!

    • Kadren

      I should add that I feel your pain at running out of butter! I buy mine at Sam’s Club in 4 pound packages and then I get to my last package I panic a little bit until I can make the 50 minute drive to go buy more!!

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole

      Hey, Kadren,
      I have to be honest, that sounds a little gross. What about a soy cream cheese? They’re actually pretty good. I think avocado + coconut milk would get the texture and moisture down, but the tastes might compete. It’s worth a shot, though!
      xoxo Nicole

      • Kadren

        We can’t do soy either. :( Or coconut, honestly. I was just wondering. In the chocolate cake, I think it might work undetected, but to use it to sub in other things, I’m thinking the green color would be a dead giveaway. lol I would really like to figure out a sub for things like sour cream and yogurt though. There are so many recipes that I don’t make because of that. Oh, and my husband got on a kick of what on earth would he do if anything ever happened to me on the feeding the kids issue. Just to give you a head’s up, I told him to email you and you’d help him out. :) I’m really not planning on going anywhere. ;) Thanks for all the awesome things you do. You have made my life so much easier and less stressful and you have made my kids the happiest! It is the best feeling in the world to know that when I try a new recipe of yours that I don’t have to worry about it not turning out. Thank you!!!!

        • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole

          Hi, Kadren,
          That’s a shame. I have no doubt that you’ll find a sub, though. What about making your own yogurt from almond milk? All you have to do is buy yogurt cultures. For anyone else, I might not recommend that — but you have your own duck eggs! I’m sure you’re up to it. ;)
          Thank you for the kind words. It really means a lot to me. I know that good feeling, when you expect something to work out more often than not. It’s a good feeling, and I’m honored that I’ve been able to help you get it. :)
          xoxo Nicole

          • Kadren

            hee hee hee I actually have my own yogurt maker, but my oldest can only have goats milk and the other three can’t. Makes for some difficulty. I really try to only make one version of something. It’s too tiring to make the same thing more than once, plus time consuming. So I just make do. :) And I’m browsing the recipes today. I need to make a cake for the girls to go to a birthday party tonight. :)

          • Kadren

            Do you realize that the only cakes on here for birthdays are made with the dreaded bean flower? And honestly, I have some already made, my kids like it, but, and here’s the secret, I hate the smell of it when it is cooking. So now that I have this other all purpose flour that really acts the right way, I don’t use it. :) If at all possible!!! Thinking of Ho-Hos though. They would love them!!!

          • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole

            Hi, Kadren,
            Those recipes are a couple years old by now, back before I had ever even heard of Better Batter. You know how I feel about bean flours! I have birthday cake recipes in my cookbook. ;)
            xoxo Nicole

          • Kadren

            I just told my mom I wanted it for Valentine’s Day. :) Oh, I tried the “Hostess Cupcakes” that you shared the other day. They turned out pretty good! Luc and I think the frosting is WAY better than the store stuff. :)

          • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole

            I haven’t tried that cupcake recipe, Kadren. You sound kind of “eh” about it? That blogger did have some pretty pictures. :)
            xoxo Nicole

          • Kadren

            Well, I had to make a few adjustments to fit with our needs. They did taste wonderful, but I made my own marshmellow fluff and that made it really hard to work with. I ended up putting it on top instead if in the middle. It all worked out. I think next time, I will make two 8 inch cakes, cut them in half horizontally, and then layer things: cake, filling, cake, frosting, cake, filling, cake, frosting. It would make a beautiful cake!

  • Pamela G

    these sound wonderful….have a nice roast in the freezer, so this sounds like a great weekend project! NUM!
    PS….I discovered Weck (mumbling a lot) 20 some odd years ago…love their pear shaped jars!

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole

      Me, too, Pam! I love the Weck tulip jars. All of their jars are just that much more beautiful than the others. And now they have plastic covers to go along with the canning covers. Exciting!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Anneke

    I still remember the day I shopped at a different grocery store from my usual (same store, different location) and got to the dairy section and found butter 2 lbs for $3.00, no limit! Talk about doing a gleeful grocery store dance!! I’m sorry to say that my last round of cheap butter (2/$4) is almost gone, and I am looking at paying — gulp — full price. Still holding out hope that the sale will come along again just when I need it. Onto today’s recipe, which looks pretty awesome, how do you feel about souring milk instead of using actual buttermilk? Souring milk is what I usually do, but you could convince otherwise if you wanted to. Thanks, as always, Nicole!

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole

      No limit, Anneke? That is exciting. And then of course you think the supply will last forever. Until forever comes a lot sooner than you expected. ;)
      Definitely sour some milk. Nothing wrong with that. I actually really like using Saco buttermilk blend powder, since I can control better exactly how “soured” it is, but vinegar works super well. ‘Course.
      xoxo Nicole

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marlon-T-Suskin/1201719738 Marlon T. Suskin on Facebook

    Those look great! I make some great cream cheese cookies with Better Batter. I am loving all your posting, Nicole!

  • Heidi Affholter on Facebook

    Waiting anxiously for your next cookbook!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/diane.c.hamiltonnowak Diane C Hamilton Nowak on Facebook

    mmmm, YUM!

  • http://www.glutenfreecanteen.com Lisa @ GF Canteen

    Weck? Hello, Weck! Now you can make your own creme fraiche and ricotta in the wecks! I’m jealousing.

    Tim and I want to marry you. Can we? Cause we would love some biscuits for breakfast.

    mascarpone cheese is an awesome idea and TJs always has it at a good price. I forget that their butter is way cheaper than even Safeway.

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole

      So now you’re all about TJs? What about the tomato pickers in Tomatoland? It’s hard to resist the pull of Trader Joe’s, especially when it comes to butter and mascarpone. The reel you right in. Yes, you may both marry me. I’m totally available. Even if it is just for the food. Somehow, I don’t have a bit of a problem with that. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • http://www.laughingatchaos.com Jen

    Tonight’s dirty little secret…I’m not a fan of cooking. So I like to cook ahead a whole bunch and freeze it. These have to go into the freezer before baking; can I just then stack them in containers and bake as necessary? ‘Cause I be lazy and still luvs me some biscuits.

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole

      Hi, Jen,
      Absolutely yes! Freeze them in a single layer, spaced an inch apart. Once they’re frozen solid, go ahead and just pile them into a freezer-safe Ziploc bag, carefully squeeze out all the air, and stick ’em in the freezer. Then bake as needed. If you are going to bake them right from frozen, you’ll need to put the oven on at a low temperature to thaw them a bit, and then raise it to temperature and bake as usual.
      xoxo Nicole

      • http://www.laughingatchaos.com Jen

        You are a good and honorable woman. :) Between these and the bretzels I’m going to need to order another 25 pounds of flour. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/EJayneSchroederHickey Jayne Schroeder Hickey on Facebook

    Snow day here today so I baked these….um, why didn’t they rise? Tasted deelish especially with cinnaomon butter but they were more like flast biscuits….. Hmmmmm

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole

      Hi, Jayne,
      Not sure. They’re made with a chemical leavener, so they shouldn’t be in danger of not rising unless your chemical leaveners were past their prime. If the dough wasn’t cold, that wouldn’t help either, or if you made any substitutions. Generally, people think they follow the recipe to the letter, but find that they in fact have made changes.
      xoxo Nicole

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Food-Allergy-Mom/209883259043960 The Food Allergy Mom on Facebook

    Wow…what time is breakfast? I’m there! :)

  • http://www.heathersblog-o-rama.blogspot.com Heather :) :) :)

    Oh, I love biscuits. They taste good with anything..and I’m all about the fat. I’m convinced that’s why I’ve been losing weight, seriously..because I”m eating real food :) :) Oh, and butter? Yes, please ;) :) I’m really loving this post today. Thanks for the recipe :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole

      Hi, Heather,
      I think I know what you mean about losing weight because you’re eating real food! Everything in moderation usually works pretty well for me. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Britt

    I halved the recipe including the baking soda and powder. Is that why my biscuits were flat? Taste was great those so I’ll be trying this again! Thanks for such a great resource.

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole

      Hi, Britt,
      I’m not sure why your biscuits were flat. When halving a recipe, it is very easy to make an error in calculation, particularly if you are not measuring certain ingredients by weight. Also, check the expiration dates on your baking soda and baking powder, do at least one “turn” of the dough (roll, fold, roll), and make sure the dough is very cold before you bake it.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Ashley

    I too had the problem of flat biscuits. I tested my baking powder and it is still good. I also used an oven thermometer. But mine did not rise and become fluffy like yours. Mine tasted ok but looked like hockey pucks.

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole

      I’m really stumped, Ashley. I just double and triple checked the recipe. With 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, it’s hard to imagine why the final product would be at all flat unless the butter wasn’t cold (or you replaced it with margarine) or was handled too much or processed too much. You want chunks of butter, not small crumbs, you need to handle it as little as possible, and you need everything to be cold. If your baking powder and baking soda are good, I’d look to the fat you’re using in the recipe.

      • Ashley

        Alright it sounds like what I may have done was crumble the butter too much. I’ll have to be more accepting of its chunky texture next time :) Thank you for the insight!

        • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole

          You’re welcome, Ashley. It’s very, very common to think that you followed the recipe to the letter, but didn’t really. Happens all the time. ;)
          xoxo Nicole

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  • http://chronically-kim.blogspot.com/ Kim M

    I can’t believe you’ve not had any comments to these as they look fabulous and I’m trying to make them tonight to go with a biscuits and gravy recipe that I’ve perfected to be Gluten Free as well.  

    I’ve not had a good biscuit that is hand-made yet…even the GF Bisquick stinks {I hated it!}!

    Unless I missed this, can you freeze the dough and just take them out to bake from frozen?  Just curious!

    Kim M.

  • gfshoestring

    Hi, Kim,
    There were actually a whole bunch of comments on this post already, but I’m not sure they made it over when we migrated from one blog design to the new one this past Monday.
    Yes, you can bake them from frozen. Just start off with a much cooler oven (about 325 degrees F) for about 5 minutes, and then turn it up to 400 degrees F and finish baking. You’ll have to eyeball them to know when they’re done. It’s generally easier to just let them defrost on a baking sheet in the refrigerator before serving.
    xoxo Nicole

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